Author Grace Lin, Winner of Newbery and Caldecott Medals, Visits Manchester Memorial Elementary School


On Friday, March 31st, Manchester Memorial Elementary students were thrilled to meet Grace Lin, an award-winning author/illustrator known for advocating for diversity in literature and specifically, Asian-American culture in her own books.  Grace led three very engaging sessions, each focused on a different topic and book appropriate for the grade levels.

The idea of inviting Grace Lin to MMES came from 4th and 5th grade students who watched Lin’s TEDTalk about books as “Mirrors and Windows” earlier this year in Library class.  Students were so passionate about meeting Grace Lin that every 4th and 5th grader wrote a letter personally inviting her to make the trip from western Massachusetts to MBTS.  It worked!  And luckily, the MMPTO was willing and able to dedicate funds to the visit!

“As we focus more and more on the importance of appreciating differences as a core value at MMES and how important it is that every child feels appreciated, valued, and respected in our community, we were very happy to host Grace Lin.  She has dedicated her writing career to shining a spotlight on Asian-American culture and the importance of embracing differences among students in a classroom.  We are so grateful that the MMPTO were willing to invest in this author visit program – the first in my tenure that brought a diverse focus on writing.”

During her presentation Grace Lin shared what real-life characters and myths made their way into her novels.  Four surprised 5th graders participated in a “readers theater” with Lin featuring “The Red Stone.”   She shared customs around the Lunar New Year celebration with second and third graders, while first graders and kindergarteners learned how to make a mooncake as well as the traditions of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.  At the end of her presentations, Lin taught students how to draw a dragon or a rabbit and shared what numbers have special meaning in Chinese culture. 

The students were given the opportunity to ask Grace questions following each presentation. While there wasn’t enough time to address everyone’s questions, all had a great inspiring day! 

Special thanks to the MMPTO for generously sponsoring this author event!

writers, caldecott medal, grace lin, author, newbery, american writers, literary awards, coretta scott king award, youth media awards, winner, new year's day, western massachusetts, microsoft windows, author /illustrator, visits manchester memorial elementary school